Saturday 18 November 2017

Jeremy Corbyn calls out Theresa May as she is interviewed on Facebook Live

“Do you not think the British people deserve to see us debate, live and on TV?”

By Edward Dracott

Jeremy Corbyn has called for Theresa May to debate with him live on TV – by leaving a comment on a Facebook Live interview between the Prime Minister and ITV’s Robert Peston.

A comment from the Labour leader’s Facebook page said critical issues with healthcare and the police and an elitist approach to taxes meant “the British people deserve to see us debate” – but May rejected the call.

“Hi Theresa May, as Prime Minister you have served your elite friends by giving them tax cuts while wages have stagnated, house-building is at its lowest since the 1920s, there are 20,000 fewer police on our streets since 2010 and the NHS is in crisis,” the comment read. “Do you not think the British people deserve to see us debate, live and on TV?”

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“What I think is more important is actually that I and he take questions directly from the voters,” answered the Prime Minister, when the question was posed by Peston. “I don’t think people get much out of seeing politicians having a go at each other, I think people want to hear directly.”

The Facebook Live interview, which received around 400,000 views, was predominantly received quite negatively on the platform. Users sent 10,000 “angry faces” in comparison with just 1,200 hearts and 4,300 “thumbs ups”.

It seems not everyone was satisfied with the Conservative leader’s answer to Corbyn’s challenge either.

Meanwhile, some threw their support behind Corbyn by claiming he would win if a live debate was aired.

Others showed their support for May however, with Irene Barbara Johnstone commenting on the webcast: “If this Prime Minister can’t get the job done, seeing Brexit through in our (UK) favour nobody else can!”

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Aside from the topic of a live debate with her opposition, May discussed a variety of areas in the Q&A session. She told Peston she is a type one diabetic, and despite injecting herself with insulin “four or five times a day” she feels the condition “doesn’t stop you from doing anything”.

May also said she didn’t mind comments on her fashion sense, stating: “What I would hope for women out there, be it getting into politics or in business or the workplace generally, is be yourself.”

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Peston told May almost 40,000 questions had been submitted during the 45-minute interview on ITV News’ Facebook page – and the outlet says similar online discussions will be held with the other party leaders in the coming weeks.

Press Association

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